All posts by Swiper Bootz

A product of 1987, Baltimore, Atlanta, DC, Manhattan, London, Los Angeles and American pop culture; supplementary to scribing, I'm a Pop Transcendentalist by purpose, drummer by passion, and culture vulture by necessity. I freelance life.

The LowFiRe: au revoir artRAVE

The LowFiRe – the Low Fidelity Reverberation… a vantage from the ground floor, amplification of the static noise, echoes and bellows from below.

It’s always Paris with Pop stars…

words just don’t anymore with this one… so i dug a bit through the crates and dusted off an hd deep tech haus disco diamond in the cuff to fill said otherwise silent void…

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love art dance fashion cosmic sublime suspended in time… still travelin’ just dancin’ round the world… suit up, get down, paws pilot – enjoi.

that, beat, though. #morethanthemusic

It took ARTPOP beacause: what is an artRAVE, right? What is an artRAVE, outside of a neon-blitzed speakeasy?

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BlinkkIt:

if – IF I were to blinkk this, though… I’d probably say…

artRAVE was a coup de monde. It was a coup de monde. Um, it was bright. It was an experience. I – you lose yourself in it. There’s so many times when you fear. You fear the possibility that this could be real – any of this – and it’s not even yours, but it could be. And there’s nothing really holding you back.

More than just any show, it was artRAVE. It was the show that shouldn’t have. It was the show that celebrated the nothing more and nothing less than ARTFLOP, right? Because that’s what it was, right? It was ARTFLOP.

It was Body-Revolution-she-actually-just-had-a case-of-the-munchies. It was Do What U Won’t: give ‘em a video. It was “Venus” Part I and II, live from Tokyo. (Which, by the way: amazing videos. They got robbed. VMAs. They got robbed. Academy. #majorcinema)

It was the VMA blacklist it was … “G.U.Y.” and “Applause,” two of the best videos to come out of their respective years. As far as technical precision, production quality, concept, I mean I – it’s so hard to give objective praise to things now, because everybody has their opinion, and those marketplace opinions become facts, right?

But, period-point blank-period, ARTPOP was a great visual, visual album. It was a great visual album. It was entertaining – and more over: it was a good piece of music. It was a good piece of music.

It was an experience. I – you lose yourself in it. And it’s not even yours, but it could be. And there’s nothing really holding you back.

rocket number nine, blast off kids. #apod

#kanyeshrug #welcometoletraphaus

On the curious case of celebrity and contemporary culture…

 

Celebrity serves the purpose of highlighting otherwise opaque social relations, conflicts, concerns, and realities.

That which is the fueling, seemingly banal, everyday existence of the masses doesn’t manifest itself into anything of social significance, until an icon framed to represent and vividly portray the beautiful burden of an attributed demographic brings it into public discourse.

The celebrity brings with it an entire economy. It is the commodity, the product and property of a corporate entity, a media monarch within the greater sphere of private ownership of a public institution – a public figure within capitalist society. Money, power, and reference run through iconographies.

Equally, celebrity brings with it an entire ideology. It is the character, the product and property of a ruling class. It may reinforce, resist, reject, or repudiate the standing social order. It is also the product and property of the masses from which it emerged, and which it directly influences and impacts – it is the manipulated mouthpiece of an increasingly superficially divided monoculture.

Collectively, the celebrity is the glue which holds together the real and ideal, the producer and the product, the dominant and resistant, the private and the public.

The celebrity sphere is a stage; lone figures act as pieces of a not so much puzzle as a chess board – white/black, soldier/sovereign, pawns and monarchs as symbols of the social classes to which they have the role of playing dual servants: as owners and as slaves.

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What celebrities do are not personal acts, they are public displays of hidden banal behaviors. Epithets, for instance, are contemporary conversation pieces, slander is the modern standard language. What was a moot point, what was an actively apathetically accepted atrocity, and debatable defamation pulsed postmodern society in the form of language – that most vulgar, the vernacular.

When displayed upon social web networks, said language is brought to new light. The isolated mediated instance brings to the forefront the banal everyday reality that the world can say in anonymity, that which the one cannot claim in amplification. When the throne commands servants in the form of fans to roar debased slander in deafening unison – it is patriotic within the domain of political prostitution, otherwise known as Pop. However, when the highly celebrated colourless comrade puts into print that very same statement, it becomes a most controversial point of contestation, social commentary, and justifiably considered conversation. That, my friends – my fiends – is the point.

The point is to make a point – and make it public, and make it pertinent. The point is to bring to public discourse, to the “rational” space, issues which deepen divides among the untied states of the present world.

Have an opinion, but understand the pretense and cultural context which frame the situation at hand: you live in a world in which the celebrity plays you – know thyself, own thyself, check thyself, but never let the noise allow you to forget thyself.

mood: “lucid so i started materializing mistaken mentalities” ft. B & Bey

mood: “lucid so i started materializing mistaken mentalities”

ft. B & Bey

 

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#Because

Britney’s beats are so clean and malleable…

an invitation to engage and manipulate, exploit and explore, to reconfigure and craft something entirely new and collaborative, reflective of the most primal human conditions and characteristics of the time, the spirit is in the seductive magnanimity

 

#and

 

Beyonce’s beats are ironclad illusions…

a fortress of definition, apparently open to invitation, the reality is entirely the opposite, its inherent imperfection is of a fixed form, there is no user-generated contextualization ingrained with the product, its imperfection is fixed, but those flaws are the fundamental identifier, the soul is in the spectacular separation

 

One Take Suzeey: “Pneumatose” (“Don’t Dance” Cover)

I date many things… cities, sounds, dreams. These things happen. When I date sounds, it is a full-stop courtship: get to know their interests, their background, their dreams, with whom they engage, do they have siblings, where do they post up to get down – can they read. These things. Eventually, the dalliance fades and something worthwhile is made. Eventually, we mix a master, and reverberate rhythms of the most loyal low-fidelity.

All of this is to say, I mingle with sonic musings. I’m a made match for muses. What does a first date sound like? Like the first take. It’s slow on the uptake, but fairly deliberate. It finds a track it grooves with, and explores it from myriad angles, pitches, and plays. We talk about life, shared experiences, we find lyrical camaraderie and beat-driven commonality. We find freedom in the music. There’s liberation in improvisation. You take an understood foundation and say: “I know you, you know you – here’s how I hear you, here’s how you appear to my ears… Here’s how the finished product unravels into the unknown.”

It gets weird. It remains inspired. It leaves few scores unsettled. It’s somewhat manic. It’s experimental. It is not interested in how you move, more so in the guarantee that you move and what compels you to move at all. It, takes, its, time.

There are tracks that sound best as-is, there are tracks that find new life in the remix.

All of that is to say, one-take suzeeys are the first date. I meet a song on the decks, press play, and wait to see what melody is made. I go overboard, I underestimate, I copy and persist. I never let go. I lose myself somewhere in the midst of the music. I never know how it turns out until the next day.

One-take (no frills, no auto-tune, no post-production, no pretense, no nothing, just tears, tempos, and freestyle flow.) Suzeey (which is Yeezus backward).

pneumatose (2014) // Simon Curtis – “Don’t Dance” (2011)

pre-take

Serving With Slaysia: Ep. 2

Asia… Asia, Asia: Asia. Is a very real thing. And reality will deal. In increasing measure. Well into the forseeable future. Asia is a Hollywood Renaissance. Black, Female, French, Bulldog. Serving for the stars. Slaying for life. Sitting sideways. Shading moonlight. Asia didn’t sign up for this, but — as a wise man once said: you don’t sign up for what you’re born into. Asia was born to slay for life and serve the light. Werk. It. Black. Sheesus. #amen

Asia: redefining rules of reduction one ‘gram at a time

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‘Grams to ounces, ounces to pounds #racks

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Asia playing with her older bf. 😩 she's growing up so fast 💞

A video posted by Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) on

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/gamemode #sweaterweather keep your head up

asia

olga

 

#fileunder: Olga didn’t sign up for this, Asia doesn’t sign anything without a lawyer present. #collectively

Stream Fifteen: The Crossroads, Laurel Canyon + Mulholland Drive

I riffed on Laurel Canyon and Mulholland Drive into a recording device for eight minutes and forty-nine seconds: this is the verbatim transcription.

Okay, fifteen minutes. I’m at Mulholland and Laurel Canyon.

So, I guess the most fitting thing for me to do at this point would be to talk about what Laurel Canyon and Mulholland mean to me. Fifteen minutes. So we’re on the clock, and we’re twenty seconds in: so, to me, Mulholland Laurel Canyon is just The … I wanna say The Fame. Oh. I wanna say The Fame, but it is fame: it’s American fame. What is The Fame to me? Mulholland and Laurel Canyon are Hollywood. It’s Cal – it’s … we’ll figure it out together.

Laurel Canyon is the Hippie Movement, right. It’s this, y’know, makeshift cobblestone ver– y’know, sloping – It’s… this canyon. It’s a canyon. It’s a cavity. It’s a cavity; but it’s the vein, and it’s the artery at the same time. Y’know like, you get traction. Y’know Laurel Canyon is the Hippies, is the Sixties, it’s the counterculture. It’s Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison. Umm, it’s an odd counterculture. It’s very calm and weathered. And then you’ve got Mulholland, which is fame to me.

I remember Mulholland Drive, the movie; and I just kinda knew what it was. Just the name stuck with me, but there was no real reason why I should have known what Mulholland Drive was. Y’know, I remember in Rolling Stone, when they said Britney lived at the top of Mulholland, at the top of this vertiginous drop. And that was fame to me: Britney 2007 was fame to me, and that is Mulholland Drive.

You want to look over the cliff, you do. You do, but you can’t. And if you do, oh: you’re divine. Y’know, because you can see it, and you’re your own pilot. To be able to see that first-hand y’know – and have it be an individual, independent experience is something else – because otherwise, you’re having to share it with other people. So y’know, if it’s a movie, it’s not as exclusive y’know. And so that’s why love is so beautiful, is because it’s two people seeing the same thing. It’s two people sharing the same space. And the only other person to know it’s true is that witness, and that is why you bear witness.

I have a tendency to stop when a flow is really good, and over-think what the perfect ending would be, and so this is that.

And… , Laurel Canyon, I mean it’s a great drive. Got Willow Glen. It’s got really interesting names. Lookout Mountain: Lookout Mountain and Laurel Canyon, I mean are you kidding. Reality L.A. that’s what it is: Reality L.A.

It’s a trinity right: you’ve got Laurel, Mulholland, and you… your vehicle, you’ve also got the city. And everything about these two streets is so identical, and so distanced. It’s glamour on Mulholland – it’s secretive. I mean there are so many secrets in these hills. One you’re riding high, the other you’re caught in the depths. You’re in the belly of the beast. It’s scary. The Canyon is scary because it’s all tumbling down on you. If you’re claustrophobic – you can’t.

It takes a very particular person to be able to drive both of these at leisure, um, and routinely. You’re experiencing the highest highs, the lowest lows, at lightning speed – and that’s your normal. To be facing death at 65 mph every day is stellar. And you cannot be slow on Mulholland. If you’re slow, you will get sideswiped, rear-ended. And I cannot tell you how many cars have gone around me – ‘cos I don’t remember, not because it’s too many, it’s just that it would be inaccurate. I guess maybe eight. I’d say between – I wanna say between like four and six actually, but it could be like six and eight. Point being: people face death, and to be able to live to see the day, and this to be your normal… and nobody really understands. People don’t understand stardom, or y’know they downplay it because it seems it seems artificial.

It seems superfluous, but in all honesty: it’s just an energy transfer.

Big stars going to little stars, little stars becoming big stars, giving their energy to other stars and hopefully making light. That said, there’s anti-matter, or the space between that’s darkness. The thing about fame is that it’s atmospheric, right. And it becomes the all-encompassing everything, and you don’t even notice it when you’re there. To be able to live in that darkness, you have to have immense light. You have to have enough light to guide the way, right. You don’t know how bright you are until you’re far enough away to where you can see the darkness. Because let’s be honest: darkness, you can’t see darkness. Darkness is right in front of us all the time, right. But it’s clear, like where does darkness begin?

It’s far away.

Point is you can’t see it, you can’t touch it, and it’s what’s right next to you. That is your cheek to cheek, you’re touching it. The last thing the fish sees is the water, the last thing the human sees is the air, and the space between the darkness that’s around.

You see light because it breaks through: it resists, right. That’s the thing about it. We’re looking at stars from so far away. We could very well be stars to beings who are at an equal distance. Fifteen thousand light years away, there could very well be stars looking at us: figuring out how to live, how to move, how to engage, how to trail light – which constellations to link up with. All in motion towards creating a universe that is more light than dark; so that darkness is the one streaking across the skies, and the light is so bright you can’t even realize what lies in the space between now.

So, I don’t know. I guess Laurel Canyon and Mulholland are like that in a way. They’re so stellar. They’re so conversion. They’re beautiful constellations. And it’s just because a star trailed thorough a mountain to make a canyon, and a star trailed alongside a mountain to take the high road. It’s not for everybody: it is, not, for, everybody. Everybody can’t be a star, but it’s our job to give them energy to do so if they try: no matter how small the light, it’s gotta be big. Oh no.

Britney Tweets 2007: Ep. 2

because if ifs and ands were pots and pans there’d be no betta work for tinker’s hands, because pink wigs birthed millennial whiplash, because it’s the rhyme behind seasonal reason, because you’re not B and will never see it her way… because Britney didn’t have Twitter in 2007, because the traphaus was birthed in the wake of Kevin, because Miss Spears will remain the bad bxxch you’ll never know, because they shouldn’t have let her blackout the ‘net #work: nouveau decided to put on a show #luckystarswipgolden

II

because there was no twitterverse then

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because once upon a time there were haircuts

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because there was nowhere else to be at 4pm every weekday

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 #exohxo

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Lyrically Speaking: Lady GaGa – “Electric Kiss”

We are a generation twisted by our myth
Confused and ludicrous
Holding on to love
Consumed by all the pleasures in our midst
A life without the lips
We’ve kissed and losing all control

We’re gonna start a resistance
so we want independence
we’re going to give the world some of this

Electric kiss

I’m gonna change the world with my lips
One voice forever
We’ll live together
Peace love solitude and happiness

Electric kiss

Fame is our felony
We’re so in love with it
Some superstars and masochists
Who don’t know where to go

But the poets and the fighters of our time
Put down their weapons in their arms
And know what they must do

Theye’re gonna start a resistance
so they want independence
They’re going to give the world some of this

Electric kiss

I’m gonna change the world with my lips
One voice forever,
We’ll live together
In peace love solitude and happiness

Electric kiss

I’m gonna change the world with my lips
One voice for ever
We’ll live together
Peace love solitude and happiness

Electric kiss

Stream Fifteen: Cheek to Cheek – Lady GaGa, Tony Bennett

This is not a blinkk… I cannot contain the breadth of this “beat.” So, I tried something new… I riffed for a few… fifteen to be generally exact… because, well, this is The Fame...: Part Forever and Always.

FIFTEEN MINUTE TRANSCRIPTION

I riffed about Cheek to Cheek for fourteen minutes and fifteen seconds into a recording device. This is the verbatim transcription:

Y’know… It’s not fair, to review an album, I guess, from the perspective of a cultural biography until it’s established its origin story, which – in an America that is fundamentally a free market, and a democracy within that capacity – is, a week after its release; when it’s made its mark on the Billboard charts: which, right now, is the founding gauge for relevance, reach, proximity to the consumer and the marketplace in terms of significance.

That being said, now Cheek to Cheek has made its starting point. It’s off on the good foot, it’s Number One in the country: which is fundamentally what all of this was ever about.

That to enter the national consciousness from a place of pop stardom, means that you’re either popular, or you’re populist; and at this point, we see the convergence of the two. We’ve got Tony Bennett who rode alongside King in the Sixties, who was an Italian with a stage name that wasn’t entirely accurate based on his birth certificate. Then you’ve got Lady GaGa who rides alongside any, and everyone for that matter, in her crusade – in her defiant plea and purpose right now – in this moment, in this eternal moment, that pop music will never be low brow.

That the popular is not a debased, faceless mass, but rather that the population is a group of divine commoners, divine denizens; that when brought together, can transcend any limitations we have since placed on humanity – and the first step to that, is cultural awareness of the greatness of the human form … and the ability of the human to create that which is better than itself and its material existence … and music is that eternal fiber, music is that fundamental identifier that manipulates the invisible. It is the imagination passport that is able to connect you to the time and space void of twain: which right now, is The Haus.

And so to bring it all back: we have this apparently “antiquated” art form – and this idea of “time” holds no bearing on Cheek to Cheek – it’s the idea that you have two contained elements, human forms contained within the epidermis, brought together and these two glorious edges are brought together to move, to touch, to dance in this space that no one can quite see, but that when we hear it so clearly: it becomes real. And when we connect to the cheeks of others, it becomes the zeitgeist. When enough cheeks touch… creation occurs.

And here it is not chaotic, it is very calm… but within this calm there is a sense that it could be fleeting. But it’s like the Titanic, where as you’re on this ship: you can jump, you can scream, you can kick your fellow passenger – or you can recognize your place as a performer, as someone with a gift and with a sense of awareness, and you can play as this ship goes below. After cold logic has sunken this beautiful vessel, this seemingly unsinkable vehicle, there is this idea that nothing else – even if it is futile – will attempt to create something so warm, something so engaging, endearing, transcendental, musical, rhythmic, beautiful. That to sink below these icy waters doesn’t’ seem so bad: because you’re not even in this material place anymore. You’re in the metaphysical space, or that shared aural experience, and so you live in that bubble dream.

And so here we have this sense that there’s this awareness: that, yes the world is burning down around us; yes, there’s the sense that, yes in the midst of ISIS you had artRAVE Dubai; and that yes, you did have two Italians descending upon Israel in the midst of everything that is the Gaza Strip. And once that earth is no more – you still have the Mesopotamian womb somewhere beneath. You have those fossils. And they remind us that there is civilization. And that beyond all the hatred, there are humans. There is humanity. And there is that undying need to connect and recreate and continue and progress – and it takes destruction.

So, where ARTPOP and The Fame glitter-bombed this Earth, we have this sense of stripped down – stark naked: no pants, no auto-tune, one-take Suzeeys (which is Yeezus backward) and we do it until we get it right. And right isn’t what’s “right” for the charts. Right isn’t whats already been written: right is how you create that new language, and make it real now.

So all of that is to say that yes: this album anything goes… with this album yes: we are cheek to cheek, and yes – we are dancing with each other… and yes, it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing: from ratchet to regal.

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I mean yes, this is an art form that did emerge from the African-American community. Black Americans who knew institutionalized servitude. And yet create this beautiful music, because from the birth of tragedy comes the spirit of music. And here we have a new group of slaves. Those new slaves. Those celebrities, the ones who are constantly surveilled, constantly vilified, the collateral damage of this American culture, creating for that same hand that holds them down every day. Those same chains that bind them, are the same chains that create that beautiful sound: that percussion. And so in the midst of it all, we have the emergence of a new renaissance. We have this emergence of something eternal, something lasting: what’s old is new.

So I guess all of this is to say that beyond the lyrics and the lines and the uncanny knack for human expression … we just have an absolutely masterful piece of work. As we always have from these two figures, and it is quite beautiful… and the beautiful part of it is: is that just like ARTPOP, this was a successful attempt. This was a triumph for the elevation of the populist masses. This is not the perfect song structure: this is the American songbook, which is created from innovation out of necessity to be better than that which you already are. To elevate above your current environment: whether it is the music industry, whether it’s the manufacturing industry, Detroit and Chicago, whether it is New Orleans – birthplace of jazz that has sunk, and is now succeeding in its own right within this same entertainment industry. Whether it is these fallen angels that adorn the streets of Hollywood; whether it is these sad Gothamites finding haven in Lady Manhattan. Harlem, Paris. No matter where you are is the idea that this jazz music is culture, and it’s because it was individually created.

We’re taking something that already existed, in this Great American Songboook, we are taking the canon and recreating it in the current form… and that is true and that is authentic and that is something that Industry cannot stop – but it took four years.

It took The Fame, it took The Fame Monster, it took being reborn this way: it took ARTPOP.

It took ARTPOP beacause: what is an artRAVE, right? What is an artRAVE, outside of a neon-blitzed speakeasy? When’s the last time you saw anyone cheek-to-cheek, sweating over this divine sound? For me it was artRAVE Los Angeles. And so you’ve got to understand that this is “Volume Two;” and Volume Two is the same as Volume Twenty-Two is the same as Volume Two Thousand Fourteen. It is this eternal move towards greatness – toward the divine – and it is this linking, linking these two people who now have a shared space and time.

So here I see Clarence Clemons, again on that edge of glory, and it’s a beautiful sight. And I feel like everybody says what everybody said about the album, in terms of the artistry (which is undeniable) and the tone, the sheer control that GaGa exercises. And yet it’s something we’ve always seen, is this idea of control: she had to control her career to the point where you have to compromise to get to this point – not everything was perfect or preplanned.

To get to Cheek to Cheek, ARTPOP had to be “ARTFLOP.” The same way Britney Jean flopped for your sins, and Blackout kamikazed for your sins: Cheek to Cheek exists to save you. It is that saving grace that lets a post-millennial-post-9/11-ADHD culture of Crystal children caught in a media marketplace, hyperreel, hyperdrive, intangible, disposable culture; and lets them know that you can indeed read the Times but write and live for the eternities.

Bang bang: she shot the sound of the underground and pasted all over town and here and now we recognize who currently wears the cultural crown.

Freedom in the music: stay jazzed kids.

BlinkkMEdia: human capital

“Celebrity has become an international commodity…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#watchthisspace